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Residents invited to attend town hall meeting to be scheduled
by Randy Parks
The Burns-Hines Task Force held its initial meeting on Tuesday, April 2, to explore the feasibility of consolidating the two cities.
The nine citizens in attendance represented Burns and Hines, as well as rural Harney County.
Topics of discussion included how to approach consolidation, what the process would entail, and the importance of getting facts out to the public rather than opinions. It was noted that in order for the cities to realize the proposed savings, it would take a concerted effort by citizens to make it happen.
There was some discussion on how Governor John Kitzhaber’s office is looking at all services within the state with the philosophy that if you can consolidate services, you save money. There are bills aleady proposed and money in the budget to help cities and counties coordinate services, so there is some concern that citizens’ input should be taken now.
It was also mentioned that if you took the combined population of Burns and Hines and looked at other cities of that size, those other cities don’t spend as much for services as Burns and Hines.
There would also be savings for area businesses who currently have to purchase two business licenses to work in the two cities.
At the present time, the task force is asking citizens to submit their questions about consolidation. The questions will be researched and then answered at a town hall meeting to be held in the near future.
Questions may be mailed to, or dropped off at, the Burns Times-Herald, 355 N. Broadway, Burns, OR 97720.
Questions may also be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org